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Effects of a super absorbent polymer on soil properties and plant growth for use in land reclamation

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Effects of a super absorbent polymer on soil properties and plant growth for use in land reclamation

Issue Time:2020-05-06

Effects of the super absorbent polymer (SAP) were tested on both the soil attributes and growth properties of Seidlitzia rosmarinus in the arid Emrani region of Iran in a reclamation study. A SAP concentration gradient (SAP 0=SAP 0g dm3, SAP 1=SAP 1g dm3, and SAP 3=SAP 3g dm3 of soil) was coupled with 30- and 60-day irrigation intervals, and results were evaluated after two growing seasons. Results indicate that application of SAP 1 increased available water content up to 68.5% and decreased soil bulk density by 25.5% and soil infiltration rate by 21.5%. SAP enhanced growth indices and seedling establishment rates of S. rosmarinus under drought stress. In addition, the application of SAP 3 can significantly increased soil cation exchange capacity up to 31% compared to the control. This study demonstrated the increased water retention properties of SAP that leads to higher soil water storage capacity for S. rosmarinus seedlings during the first months of out-planting in arid regions. Overall, the used SAP enhanced soil and plant properties, but most assessed parameters did not differ between SAPs 1 and 3. Therefore, the 1g application rate is recommended based on technical as well as economic considerations.